• Sunday, February 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

Suspended NSIPA boss in EFCC custody after alleged N17bn spree

Halima-Shehu (1)

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested Halima Shehu, the embattled National Coordinator and CEO of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), just hours after her suspension.

Shehu, who remains in custody as of this writing, is under investigation for the movement of N17 billion from NSIPA accounts to suspicious beneficiaries within a single week.

The arrest caps a whirlwind day for  Shehu, whose suspension earlier was reportedly spurred by the EFCC’s preliminary investigation into allegations of billions in unauthorized payments made by NSIPA.

Sources familiar with the matter suggest the anti-graft agency may have recommended the suspension directly to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to facilitate a free and thorough probe.

EFCC operatives visited Shehu’s private office and residence around 8 pm yesterday, leading to her arrest at approximately 9 pm. Following searches of both locations, Ms Shehu was taken into custody for questioning.

Adding to the drama, sources indicate the EFCC focuses on a specific agency director suspected of involving illicit fund transfers to suspicious accounts. The director’s name and precise role remain under wraps, but their alleged complicity casts a broader net over potential culprits within NSIPA.

Shehu’s arrest marks a significant escalation in the N17 billion saga, sending shockwaves through the agency and raising serious questions about financial mismanagement within the critical social program.

The EFCC’s investigation is ongoing, and further developments, including potential charges against both  Shehu and the unnamed director, are expected in the coming days.